DOLE Urges Employers to Provide Free COVID-19 Vaccines to Their Employees
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) released an advisory on Friday, March 12, encouraging employers to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations for their employees.
With the recent rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines, both public and private sectors have made preparations to administer the vaccines to Filipinos, especially frontliners and essential workers.
Under Labor Advisory No. 03-21, the COVID-19 vaccination should not be made mandatory and those who refuse to be administered should not be discriminated against. Additionally, the cost of such vaccination should not be shouldered by the employee.
The advisory states that “No cost of vaccination in the workplace shall be charged against or passed on, whether directly or indirectly, to the employees.”
DOLE Assistant Secretary Teresita Cucueco noted that workers who refuse vaccination shall not be treated with a refused promotion, termination, or prohibition from entering their workplace.
DOLE will provide the necessary assistance to covered establishments and employers in the private sector to ensure the proper distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
She added that several businesses are already procuring their own vaccine supply for their workers in coordination with the national government.
At present, the Philippines has a total of approximately 622,000 cases of COVID-19, 48,157 of which are active cases.
The regions with the highest number of active cases are the National Capital Region (NCR) with 20,196 cases, followed by Calabarzon (Region IV-A) with 5,316 cases and Central Visayas (Region VII) with 5,304 cases.